While grief strikes both sexes, men tend to grieve longer than women, reports Ruth Konigsberg, author, in her AARP article, "Five Surprising Truths About Grief." Whether you were newly married or married for nearly a lifetime, when you lose your wife, you may feel you have lost a part of yourself, and you may fall into depression and social withdrawal. The grieving process will take some time, and you must be patient with yourself. In the meantime, however, several strategies exist that you can employ to help you.
Expect Varying Emotions
Although the grieving process usually involves feelings of sorrow, it's not the only necessarily the only emotion that you might struggle with. For example, denial, confusion, guilt and even anger are also commonly experienced emotions during the grieving process, suggests Mental Health America of York and Adams Counties in the article "Coping with Bereavement." Keep these emotions in mind and accept them as natural reactions. They might also tend to fluctuate. One day you might feel sadness, and the next you might feel irritable.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
People contact widowers less often than they contact widows, suggests Carolyn Wilken, associate professor at University of Florida IFAS Extension, in her article, "Learning to Live Through Loss: Understanding Men Who Grieve." She also mentions that widowers are also more likely to commit suicide than widows during the year following their loss. With these facts in mind, it's important to establish a reliable social network. Turn to friends and family members you feel comfortable talking with about sensitive matters. Therapy options also exist for those struggling with grief.
Take Care of Yourself
While you might feel listless, remember to attend to self-care routines, such as healthy eating, exercise and daily hygiene practices, suggests the National Institute on Aging in the article "Mourning the Death of a Spouse." Also try to avoid unhealthy behaviors such as smoking or drinking. In addition, try to make a schedule to follow every day. This schedule can include your usual pastimes such as poker night with your buddies, or new hobbies, such as a cooking class at a community college.
Address Other Responsibilities
It might be difficult to focus on typical household responsibilities, such as paying bills, but neglecting them will only make your life more difficult later. In addition, you might also need to write a new will, check on the status of your health insurance and even sort through you former wife's belongings, suggests the National Institute on Aging. While these are all matters you must address eventually, take your time and break these tasks into series of smaller chores.